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Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by Johnny O, Jun 2, 2005.
I think it was Doohan that said Schwantz was the fastest rider that he had ever come across, it was just that he fell off too much......Makes you wonder, if it wasn't for Rainey's tragic accident whether he would have stayed on the bike enough to have been world champion.
Interesting comment that.
Experience in road racing is not only riding faster than anyone else, but also being able to ide that quick, lap after lap and NOT fall off.
One of my mechanics and team managers once told me I was the most gifted rider they had ever seen. But, they soon said.... A gifted rider wont win unless the gifted rider practices and does not crash. Being a gifted rider simply means you will get faster quicker, if you put the time in.... DOOOUGGHHHHH
That's typical of Doohan's mind games, he'd give someone a compliment to look good in the public's eyes but give it a twist to try and psychologically detune the opposition.
Don't get me wrong, all is fair in racing if you can get away with it.
I think you need a bit of arsehole in you to be a racer at the top level... Look at Marco Melandri, he used to be really good friends with Rossi, until he overtook him one day. Valentino has barely spoken to him since.
Don't think Doohan said it until after both he and Schwantz had retired. I remember going to the 1989 GP (the one that Gardner won), Schwantz was leading into Lukey Heights on the first lap and already in that first 3/4 of a lap he'd pulled out about three bike lengths, he then high sided in spectacular fashion on the exit of the corner, in front of 50,000 parochial Aussies, don't think he lived that down for a while...
Thing about Schwantz - when he wasn't crashing he could do things with a bike that none of the others could.
Schwantz, Rainey, Doohan, Gardner - talk about a golden age!
Gardener... Hmm, he was great, but I dont think he is quite in the same league as Doohan and Rainey.... Just my opinion.
I remember watching races with Gardener and Rainey... Rainey usually had something in reserve that he could muster up and pull away.....
I agree with you about Gardner, but I'm just being nostalgic and thinking about the standard of the racing back then. Before you had a single dominating rider - Mick at his height, then Rossi.
Gardner had balls though. I remember seeing one race at Laguna Seca when the Honda was at its most evil-handling. The sensible thing to do would have been to park the thing and go kick a few engineers. But he persevered and managed to complete the race at a reasonable pace. Spectacular stuff.
Gardner may not have been the fastest, or anything else, but nobody broke his opponent's hearts or spirits like the Wollongong Whizz.
In the Castrol Six Hour at Amaroo, in the wet, on the CB-1000R, with a powerband about 100 revs wide, I watched him powesliding the bike INTO Stop Corner, while looking over his shoulder at Johhny Pace on the Suzuki behind him (dicing for the race lead) DARING him to do the same.
Next lap, Pace tried it too and his eyes went REAL WIDE as he nearly fell off.
Next lap, Wayne was 7 seconds in front, and went away to win.
Plus don't forget he came back from that horrific accident where he ran over Uncini's neck and nearly killed him, that doesn't take great riding skills, but it does take great courage.
Fair point Hornet
But, remember our mate Doohan went through 2 years of riding with a completely busted up and red roar leg. The poor guy could not even walk, but still won championships.
When finding the "best rider" we need to look at them when they were in top trim and when they were in their worst shape. Only one man stands out, Mick Doohan... Oh and My Baaaaary Sheeeeeene
I'm biased, because I saw Wayne's first ever road race (Wollongong Club Day, Oran Park, Christmas 1976) and followed (and assisted with) his career in many ways from that day to when he went to Europe.
At his first race meeting on a real race bike (Kevin Cass' TZ-250) he won every race he entered except the open final, and won the second 250 race (over, I think, 10 laps) and lapped the field!
The other thing I love about Wayne is he has never forgotten the people who helped him when he was a nobody. I see him on sporadic intervals these days, but he will always pick me out if he sees me in a group, no matter who he is with, or what he is doing, and say hello to me by name and ask after my health and welfare.
YOu definately are biased.
See, I have the same problem with Angelina on movie sets... She drop severything for me, drags me into the trailer and shaggs me relentlessly...
OH CRAP... I have posted in the wrong forum again
The first memory I have of seeing Mick Doohan race was TV coverage of a proddy race at Oran Park.
I remember him having an almighty dice with Michael Dowson, both on RD Yamahas if memory serves. A VERY long time ago.
It was probably my first exposure to bike racing, and I remember thinking that dice was the best motor racing I'd ever seen.
My sister has a picture in her kitchen that takes pride of place. She's down at PI in pit lane with Barry Sheene in a full embrace. Brother-in-law was a bit peeved I think even though he took the picture (he was jealous, I think he wanted a cuddle with Bazza as well...)
"Our" Bazza definitely holds pride of place for the man who survived more high-speed crashes in the sport than any other. Either one of his two BIG crashes would have killed anyone else. Just six weeks after the Daytona accident he raced at Magny Cours in France, unvbelievable.
I'm still trying to get my hands on Bazzza's biography, I think it might be an interesting read.
Also include Eddie and Freddie. I did not like Spencer, I thought he was a whining soft c0ck.
First time I saw Gardner was back in the late 70's early eighties time period, out at Calder. Was a rainy day and he was riding that bike as if it was on rails. He was blitzingf the field. Pure magic and talent at its best.
Its really hard for me to pick who is better, Wayne or Mick. Wayne copped it hard in his day riding for Honda. Back then the tech's would not listen to the rider much. There attitude was "What would you know your the rider, we built this, just ride it". I can clearly remember many times seeing him on SBS (back in those days with Will Hagen doing the commentary). Now there is a bloke who new his stuff IMHO. Anyway you would watch Wayne getting around on the bike and he would be fighting it BIG TIME. What he MADE that bike do was unreal. Back then the Yamarcka (as the Monkey Boy says) was on rails. The Honda handled like crap but had balls of top end grunt, where as the Yamarcka was not as fast at top end speed but handled better.
Remember back when they talked about, this is a Honda track, this is a Yaharcka track etc.
Anyway Wayne rode the shyte out of the Honda and got a Championchip out of it. When Mick came onto the scene the tech's were starting to liten to the riders and the bike was more savvy. During the Mick years they listened MORE and Mick certainly had a better handling machiner than Wayne did.
Two VERY different bikes. Two top riders. I am proud as punch they are Ozzies